Partnership between LegalEDHEC and Queen’s Law-Columbia

Development of an artificial intelligence tool to improve decision-making in the trademark law field

Written on 12 June 2019.


EDHEC Business School’s LegalEDHEC research centre (France) and Queen’s Law Conflict Analytics Lab (Canada) have just signed a partnership for a project that will place artificial intelligence at the heart of decision-making in the field of intellectual property law. 

In addition to their researchers, EDHEC Business School and Queen’s Law will involve their students in executing the project via the analysis of jurisprudence and the determination of the criteria used by judges to assess the risk of confusion associated with legal action concerning brand counterfeiting.

This "Trademark Similarity Assessment" project will involve developing a system based on deep learning – analysis of text and images - in order to make it easier to detect the risk of confusion in brand counterfeiting cases.

The tool will seek to fulfil three objectives:

  • Use machine learning to identify the visual and textual characteristics specific to each brand  
  • Assess the risk of similarity between brands
  • Enable lawyers and judges to uniformly assess the risk of confusion between brands.

For Samuel Dahan, Professor at Queen’s Law and Director of the Conflict Analytics Lab, “this transatlantic project offers an incredible opportunity to improve comparison tools in the trademark law field. The major progress made with image processing, particularly thanks to Facebook’s Detectron technology, allows thousands of brands to be compared in just a few seconds”.

Christophe Roquilly, Professor at EDHEC and Director of the LegalEDHEC research centre, hails the project. “The project is fully consistent with the development of our “Advanced Law, Lawyers and Lawyering” strategic research work within LegalEdhec. It focuses on two major objectives: determine how digital technology and AI are now transforming law, legal practice and the competencies expected of in-house legal counsels, and analyse how law needs to respond to the risks and opportunities inherent to the ongoing transformation of the economy by digital and AI”.

 “This tool could have a sizeable impact on judicial decision-making and especially improve the significant problems of coherency that currently exist between the systems in Europe, the USA and Canada”.

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